Hiking & Treking
The Mother Who Takes Her 3-Year-Old Hiking
Why Everyone Should Try Mother-Daughter Hiking
In his book, The Nature Principle, Richard Louv describes “nature-deficit disorder,” which is described as a lack of connection to living things. Louv argues that nature is essential for a child’s development, and is even necessary for good health. Such benefits are shared all over the internet by young families who’ve taken to homesteading and living in and being sustained by nature alone.
Meet Morgan and Hadlie
One Arizona mom has taken this to heart by going on a quest to introduce her daughter to the wild. Morgan Brechler, a single-mom of 25 years, has been taking her daughter Hadlie on nature expeditions since she was born. Beginning with the Grand Canyon and later exploring other parts of the United States, Morgan didn’t see age, inexperience or her status as a young single mother as an obstacle to giving her daughter a childhood rich with nature education, exploration and mother-daughter hiking.
Using her own childhood as inspiration, Morgan and Hadlie go rock climbing, bouldering, hiking and camping as much as possible. At the ripe old age of 18 months, Hadlie began indoor rock climbing and now suits up with her mom and her partner, tightrope walker, Jared Marvel. Morgan and Hadlie have traveled from Arizona as far as the beaches of Hawaii to continue their nature expeditions.
A few minutes on Morgan’s Instagram and you may wonder how this young mom seems to have it all, but it’s important to be realistic. Morgan is very honest about her life telling The Cooler Lifestyle blog “… understand that my life is not perfect. I work full time, I’m studying. We find adventure in the evenings and weekend[s]. I wish I was a full time adventurer, but right now I am not.” Morgan offers some wise and transparent words—you can also start small with your own family, visiting local spots on evenings and weekends.
In the future, Morgan hopes to travel the world with Hadlie. She’s met quite a few like-minded families through her own quest traveling and sharing her adventures online, and her dream is to coordinate a round the world trip with other adventuring families.
The Natural Learning Initiative with NC State University offers some tips on introducing your child to the natural environment. If you can’t travel or your locale doesn’t afford natural parks and forests, opt for a nature garden of your own. Source plants, shrubs and vines native to the area to create a natural learning environment for your child.
To keep up with Morgan, you can find her family in the Born Wild documentary project, which also has additional nature projects in the works. The series follows moms from all around the West who aim to give their children a healthy relationship and understanding of nature and the environment from birth. Stay connected with Morgan, like-minded adventure families, and mother-daughter hiking at the BornWildProject.com.